The purpose-built facility, designed to support a diverse range of operational requirements under one roof, is capable of accommodating up to five Boeing 737 NG aircraft at any one time.

The tandem lift is a key stage in the EUR 14m design and build project being undertaken for the low-cost airline by Kier Eastern, part of the Kier Group.

The scheme design, prepared by consulting engineering practice Equipment Solutions, measures around 128m X 58m and with a maximum height approaching 25m. The interior will be supported by four structural steel trusses, designed and fabricated by Barrett Steel Buildings, of Bradford.

The first two, weighing altogether 100 tonnes, were connected together on the ground before being hoisted into place, using two 300 tonne-capacity mobile cranes from Peterborough Crane Hire – a Grove GMK 6300 and a Terex Demag AC350.

Kier Eastern project manager Mark Lockley explained: “Lifting the first two trusses as a pair provides us with a more stable structure to start with. We can then lift each of the two remaining trusses individually and connect them securely to the existing steel structure.”

Each truss provides a clear span of 124m, allowing maximum access space for aircraft. As well as aircraft maintenance, the giant hangar will house three storeys of workshops, offices and crew training facilities at the rear, including two flight simulators to be installed during the building programme.

Scheduled to finish on October 6, the 38-week programme also includes construction of an adjacent warehouse facility covering approximately 1,680 sq m.